The musician’s wife confirmed the news in a statement given to Variety, writing: “It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away.
“He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.”
She continued: “Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”
David Crosby in 2011 CREDIT: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Crosby co-founded the folk-rock band The Byrds alongside his bandmates Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke in 1964, after performing on the acoustic coffeehouse circuit and in other bands, including Les Baxter’s Balladeers. He remained in the line-up only briefly, being dismissed from the band in 1967.
However, he stayed with them long enough to be involved from their evolution of Beatles-inspired early days to psychedelia-indebted tunes, and released four albums with the band, culminating in 1967’s ‘Younger Than Yesterday’. He also appeared on their fifth record, ‘The Notorious Byrd Brothers’, due to recording being midway through when he was fired from the band.
He would later go on to produce The Byrds’ 1973 reunion album, ‘Byrds’, which also marked the band’s final ever record.
A year after leaving The Byrds, Crosby formed Crosby, Stills & Nash with Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills and The Hollies’ Graham Nash. The trio won Best New Artist at the 1969 Grammys following the release of their self-titled debut album. They performed their second-ever show at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969 and were often joined onstage by Neil Young, who would later have his surname suffixed onto the band name.
Together, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young) released eight studio albums, including 1970’s ‘Déjà Vu’ and their last – 1999’s ‘Looking Forward’.
When the full band wasn’t working together, Crosby would often still collaborate with Nash. The pair released ‘Graham Nash David Crosby’, their debut album together, in 1972, followed by three more over the intervening years.
David Crosby CREDIT: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns
Aside from their own records, Crosby and Nash quickly became the go-to harmony vocalists for other acts of the ‘70s, including their bandmates Stills and Young. Elsewhere, they appeared on Joni Mitchell’s ‘Free Man In Paris’, James Taylor’s ‘Mexico’ and Jackson Browne’s ‘The Pretender’.
Crosby also had an illustrious solo career, kickstarted by his Top 20 debut solo album ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name’ in 1971. In 2014, he returned to the upper echelons of the charts with a Top 40 hit in ‘Croz’, while his latest solo release came in 2021 with ‘For Free, which featured cover art by Joan Baez.
In 2019, the musician became the focus of his own documentary, David Crosby: Remember My Name. The film was produced by former Rolling Stone journalist and Almost Famous director Cameron Crowe, and was nominated for Best Music Film at the 2020 Grammys.
Outside of music, Crosby also dabbled in acting, appearing as a guest star on The John Larroquette Show and episodes of Roseanne and Ellen. In 1991, he made the leap to the big screen, appearing as a pirate in Hook and as a hippie in Backdraft. A year later, he played a bartender in the Neo-western movie Thunderheart. Crosby also made two appearances in The Simpsons over the years, voicing the animated version of himself.
Tributes have begun to be paid to the legendary musician online. The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson wrote on Twitter: “I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter.
“And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends.”
I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends. Love, Brian pic.twitter.com/Hjht7LeGiv
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) January 19, 2023
“Grateful for the time we had with David Crosby. We’ll miss him a lot,” Jason Isbell tweeted.
Grateful for the time we had with David Crosby. We’ll miss him a lot.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) January 19, 2023
Publicist Danny Deraney added: “I repped David Crosby on different occasions. He was his own man. He could be cantankerous, he could be a pussycat. That was Cros. About as real as you could get.”
Sometimes I pinch myself when I look back at the people I worked with who I admired as a kid.
I repped David Crosby on different occasions. He was his own man. He could be cantankerous, he could be a pussycat. That was Cros.
About as real as you could get.
Long Time Gone 1969 pic.twitter.com/BIylD1b0I7
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) January 19, 2023
See more tributes below.
As much as I loved his music I loved his thoughts on Twitter as well. Rest In Peace David Crosby thank you for the lifetime of inspiration https://t.co/Vdoc6j6LdL
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) January 19, 2023
This is very sad. David had just announced a new band, with a tour to follow.
Rest in peace, David Crosby. https://t.co/9N4k2PugD9
— Brian Ray (@brianrayguitar) January 19, 2023
david crosby was one of my favourite people to have on the show. this is from the first time we met. so funny, so candid, and someone who just deeply loved music. i’ll miss him. https://t.co/QPYDGfFbtT
— raina douris (@RahRahRaina) January 19, 2023
RIP David Crosby. We’ll miss you. https://t.co/sMq8z3hvWQ
— Riot Fest (@RiotFest) January 19, 2023
I am so saddened that David Crosby has died. A fantastic, flawed, mad presence. The structure to this song was so typically his and the words are as good as any I ever knew.https://t.co/uhlH4vqwAy
— Danny Baker (@prodnose) January 19, 2023
— Melissa Etheridge (@metheridge) January 19, 2023
RIP David Crosby
I was just listening to CSN the other night and was always blown away by his voice and sense of harmony. Huge loss RS pic.twitter.com/gA31oyB8v6
— Ron Sexsmith (@RonSexsmith) January 19, 2023
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) January 19, 2023
— Newport Folk Fest (@Newportfolkfest) January 19, 2023
This is a developing story and will be updated